January 1 has dawned bright and sunlit in Portland, cold and beautiful as marble, but now it seems late to run through the record of 2015. I’ve already changed the calendars.
Some things stand out, however, as I think back to…..was it just yesterday? For the most part, 2015 was a year of rigid routine, the way society would have us believe it should be. What does Fox News call it? “Packing 10 pounds of to-do list in a 5-pound bag”?
There was work (too much), volunteering (not enough) Al-anon meetings (never enough), and trips to the beach (also never enough).
I published a book, had my first readings, got a story in an anthology, won Nanowrimo, and a few days ago, got my proof copy of Placid River Runs Deep.
I traveled to Utah to volunteer at Best Friends Animal Shelter, and to Las Vegas for the Star Trek Con.
I was sick a lot and quit taking my meds to get a baseline so hopefully they can find out what’s wrong with me. I think I already know, at least in part:
I am metamorphosing.
My life is about to get very different. In an email I sent to my co-workers, I explained, “On January 21, 2016, I will be taking a giant step into change. At 63, I am leaving my place of employment after nearly 15 years to pursue my dream of being a writer. Anyone close to my age will understand that at some point, time begins to count down…. The need to fulfill my creative destiny has become vital. I’m optimistic about my future adventures in writing, cat-sitting, volunteering, and changing my diet from steak to beans.”
I have thought this through, and here is my reasoning for taking this geriatric leap of faith:
Because no matter how early I get up in the morning, I’m still late for work. It’s a sign.
Because sitting on my butt for the past 15 years has made me sick. And I’m sick of it!
Because I work at a medical clinic where every day I see the unpredictability of human health – someone comes in for a wart on the toe only to find they have a fatal disease.
Because as I volunteer with my therapy cat, Tinkerbelle, too many of my hospice patients are younger than me.
Because I can.
Though I still have another few weeks at the job, I’m beginning to feel the stirrings of release: butterflies of imagination, sparks of creativity being born – or reborn, stretching like something cooped up and cramped for a very long time. New synapses are firing. I’m not too old to learn something new.
It’s never too late to change.
Except when you die.
Then it really is.